Before the New York Jets Wild Card playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Rex Ryan was asked what he thought about the Vegas odds for the Jets to win the Super Bowl.
“I wasn’t aware of that, but to me we should be favorites.” Ryan said.
Excuse me Rex, I know you’re confident in your football team, but really?
“I mean in the whole tournament,” Ryan continued. “I think we have the best defense; I know we do. I think we have the best rushing attack. I want this football team. If I had a choice to coach any team in this tournament, I would choose this one.”
As a long suffering Jets fan, I cringed when I originally heard these statements a few weeks back. In Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning this version of the Jets will try and finish off the transition from lovable loser to legitimate NFL franchise.
The man who forced the Jets organization to switch from those ugly green jersey’s to the classy ones they wear today was none other than the great Bill Parcells.
Parcells joined New York’s second most important football team in 1997 and what proceeded is the Jets most successful run of football in their history.
Before BP (1960-1996), the Jets made the playoffs seven times.
After BP (1997-present), the Jets have made the playoffs six times.
The New York Jets are no longer the laughingstock of the league, but Ryan needs to finish what Parcells started.
Parcells got the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in his second season, but they lost after being up 10-3 at the half to the Denver Broncos (cue the 1987 Fiesta Bowl Penn State vs. Miami and the 1998 AFC Championship game – not Vinny Testaverde’s crowning moments).
In his first year Ryan has a chance to fulfill what Parcells expected to do – get this organization to the Super Bowl.
It took a while, but I have finally bought in.
At the beginning of the season I thought Ryan ran his mouth too much when talking smack to Channing Crowder and Bill Belichick and was setting himself up for failure by proclaiming things like the Jets would have a trip to the White House in the near future.
I don’t doubt the Jets bold leader anymore, he is an inspirational coach. Ryan has the Jets players brimming with confidence.
Ryan also has the fan base believing.
I believe the New York Jets are going to win the AFC Championship game.
I believe the New York Jets are going to the Super Bowl.
I believe the New York Jets are not flash in the pan and will have long term success.
Ryan opened up a big can of worms. Do not let us down. I was at Qualcomm for the Jets upset of the San Diego Chargers. At this point nothing less than a Super Bowl victory is an acceptable outcome.
I had an argument with a friend (for the sake of the story let’s name my friend Horace) through text about this issue. He sent me a text congratulating me for getting to see my team advance to the AFC Championship game.
I responded that I do not want to be congratulated until they win another two games.
The conversation that followed went like this:
Horace: Bull. Getting to the conf championship is worth of congrats. The Jets are the only team left that if they don’t win there won’t be a major disappointment.
Gibberman: Haha from an outsider’s perspective that does make sense. For me it would be like going to the strip club and getting a lap dance – just a tease.
Horace: You’re killing me. If I said the Jets were going to the conf championship game at the start of the year with a rookie QB and 1st year coach you would have jumped for joy.
Gibberman: If you told me that going into the playoffs I would have laughed and called you nuts, but they have made it this far I want it all.
Ryan, this is the monster you create in a fan base when you say things like your team should be the favorites in the playoffs.
Ryan, I ask you as a Jets fan please finish the job that Parcells started 13 years ago. After watching so many other NFL teams have their moment, it is time that I and all other New York Jets fans have our moment. Deliver on your word; bring the Lombardi Trophy back to New York.